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Ex-pope Benedict in rare public appearance at cardinals ceremony

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI (R) is greeted by a cardinal at the consistory in the St. Peters Basilica at the Vatican on Saturday.//AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI (R) is greeted by a cardinal at the consistory in the St. Peters Basilica at the Vatican on Saturday.//AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO

Former pope Benedict XVI, who retired last year, made a rare public appearance on Saturday at a ceremony lead by his successor Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica to appoint new cardinals.

Benedict, who lives in a monastery inside the Vatican walls and had sworn to remain "hidden from the world", joined the cardinals in the front row of the basilica for the ceremony to create 19 new "princes of the Church." Nine of theme come from South America, Africa and Asia.

The new "princes of the Church" will be presented with scarlet-red birettas and gold rings at a grandiose ceremony in St. Peters Basilica that Vatican observers say should help correct a perceived bias towards European cardinals.




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